The Amazon Kindle Fire is the first full tablet device from the world`s largest online retailer. It comes from a family of eBook readers but sets out on its own to give you a connected, interactive experience which focuses on content delivery, multimedia and gaming.
The Kindle Fire is arguably not a direct rival to the iPad 2, but tablet fans will certainly be keen to take a look at it given that Amazon is pricing it at half the cost of Apple`s tablet. The Kindle Fire features a seven inch display with a generous black bezel surrounding it. A native resolution of 1024×600 means that text and images will look crisp, sharp and colourful.
Onboard storage comes in the form of 8GB of Flash memory and there is a dual core processor doing all of the hard work under the surface. You can plug in a standard pair of headphones to listen to music and watch videos in peace, or use the built-in speakers if you wish. The whole device weighs 413 grams, which is quite a bit lighter than the iPad 2, although the Kindle Fire`s smaller screen and form factor accounts for this difference.
The software platform which brings the Kindle Fire to life is Android 2.3, but whilst most will know this as a mobile phone operating system it has been heavily modified by Amazon in order to drastically alter the way it looks and operates. You will be able to carry out all of the tasks typically associated with tablets, including browsing the internet, viewing and sending emails, playing videos, listening to your tunes and of course reading eBooks and comics. However, it is the Amazon-specific changes that are making the headlines.
Firstly it will come with access to a whole host of cloud-based services run by the retail giant. This includes Amazon Cloud Storage, Cloud Player, App Store, Kindles Store, Prime and many more. The ultimate goal is to allow users easy access to the content they want at a price they can afford. Downloading games, videos, books and much more media content will be simple and Amazon is ultimately relying on this to help it monetise the Kindle Fire because analysts predict that it is actually selling it at a loss and looking to recoup the costs further down the line.
Connectivity comes in the form of Wi-Fi and at first there will be no 3G option available for the Kindle Fire, although Amazon is developing such a device that will allow for web access and file downloads across a wider area. Because the Kindle Fire uses cloud based services there is little need for it to have as much storage as the up to 64GB available on the range-topping iPad 2. This is due to the fact that you can put all of your files online and stream or download them as appropriate.
The Kindle Fire is a compelling alternative to the standard Android-based tablets on the market as well as the iPad 2. Those who want an affordable tablet which combines the features of digital media players, laptops, eBook readers and many more should give it a look.